Paralympian Peter Ryan addresses County Tipperary school on 'Wellbeing Week'

Patrician/Presentation Secondary School, Fethard, Wellbeing Wall

Paralympic Peter Ryan (centre) photographed with School Principal, Mr Pat Coffey, and staff members Ms Yvonne Murphy, Ms Helena Walsh and Mr John Cummins.

A great effort went in to Wellbeing Week 2019 in Patrician Presentation Secondary School in Fethard recently.

The week’s programme was organised by P.E. teacher Ms. Yvonne Murphy, and P.E. teacher and Special Needs’ Co-ordinator in the school, Ms. Helena Walsh in co-operation with Mr McGree, School Guidance Counsellor and Maths Teacher, Mr. Walsh.

A wellbeing wall has been designated in the entrance hall and serves as a reminder to all of the importance of wellbeing for the development of the person.

A number of other teachers and multiple students helped out with the week’s activities. Two visiting speakers also participated, Peter Ryan, Paralympic Cyclist, and Richard Kennedy, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rathgormack. 

Lunchtime activities during the week included a Spinathon, Zumba Dancing, Volleyball, Basketball and a Crossbar Challenge. There was also a DEAR (drop everything and read) for fifteen minutes on Tuesday, A ‘Drop everything and colour’ activity took place on Wednesday, and a ‘Positive Post-Its’ activity where students/teachers selected various positive affirmations and posted them on  pupils’ lockers or on teachers’ doors.

The week ended with the school’s annual Sports’ Day on Friday, May 10. We were blessed with good weather and all the activities were well-coordinated by the P.E. teachers who were ably assisted by the Transition Year pupils. 

Well done to all involved in this very important week on the school’s calendar. Wellbeing is central to the New Junior Cycle Programme and the following extract from the Well Being Guidelines will highlight the importance of wellbeing for all aspects of a person’s live: 

We also know that students who have higher levels of wellbeing tend to have better cognitive outcomes in school. 

1.    ESRI research found that ‘children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social and school wellbeing had higher levels of academic achievement subsequently (at ages 11, 14, and 16)’.

2.    Therefore wellbeing and learning are inextricably connected. It is vital that those who seek to promote high academic standards and those who seek to promote mental, emotional and social health realise that they are on the same side, and that social and affective education can support academic learning, not simply take time away from it. There is overwhelming evidence that students learn more effectively, including their academic subjects, if they are happy in their work, believe in themselves, and feel school is supporting them. (NCCA, Wellbeing Guidelines 2015).